The Athena List is an annual feature-length script competition that selects exceptional scripts featuring women leaders at the heart of the story. As the signature program of the Athena Film Festival’s Creative Development program, The Athena List’s goal is to raise the profile of the winning scripts and writers within the industry, with the purpose of getting these movies made and elevating the writers’ careers to the next level.

Submissions for the 2024 Athena List Are Open from June 1 - September 15, 2023

There is NO SUBMISSION FEE for The Athena List.

The Athena List is a part of The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College. The Athena Film Festival has established itself as the premier festival dedicated to celebrating and elevating women’s leadership. Our festival highlights films showcasing women’s leadership from underexplored perspectives; women leading in all places and spaces who are resisting and refuting preconceived notions of all they can be and do. Through our Creative Development Program, we are bolstering the pipeline of creatives who are telling these stories and fostering a network of in film.

The 14th Annual Festival will take place February 29 – March 3, 2024.

FYI - We have been in contact with the legal department at the WGA and have been assured that submitting your materials would not put you in breach of strike protocols. 

Eligibility Criteria

Scripts must have a woman (girl) or women character(s) in leadership role(s) or position(s). Projects from all genres are accepted, and stories about women from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups are encouraged;

Scripts must be feature-length (we do not accept shorts or television scripts);

Scripts must be in advanced development. DO NOT SUBMIT A FIRST DRAFT;

Projects submitted MUST have taken part in a writer's lab or intensive, or actively be working with industry members (such as a manager, agent, executive, and/or producer) on their project;

Scripts based on existing material will be considered, as long as the writer(s) have secured the underlying rights to the source material;

Screenplays that are fully financed and in pre-production are not eligible. They can be optioned and have producers and/or talent attached;

Screenplays previously submitted and considered for the Athena List are not eligible;

Scripts must be written in English and between 80 and 120 pages;

Entries lacking a logline on the application form will be disqualified;

Our submission process is two-tiered: we first review the synopsis of your script to see if it fits the criteria above; if it does, it will then be read in full. If your script does not fit the criteria it WILL NOT be considered;

The Athena Film Festival encourages applications from people of all races, religions, national origins, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, and ages, as well as veterans and individuals with disabilities. We strongly encourage you to apply if you are from a marginalized or underrepresented group, particularly in the film industry.

Overall Rating
  • Cecilia Copeland

    Thank you so much to Athena Film Festival for creating a team of brilliant non-binary and female filmmakers at Barnard! It was an honor to be included as a Finalist for the Athena List. Athena film festival gave us the chance to meet, share stories, and support one another as filmmakers.

    March 2023
  • It was a tremendous honor to have my screenplay, 72, selected as a finalist for the Athena awards. The work this festival is doing to uplift and magnify female filmmakers is tremendously important.

    March 2023
  • Athena isn't just a festival, it's a community of like-minded individuals who don't just network but connect. I have nothing but positive things to say about the people who run it and the support they have shown me. I cannot recommend it enough.

    March 2023
  • The Athena Lab has been a genuinely life changing experience. Between the expertise of the mentors and the unique opportunity to be in community with other writers, this is a chance to make genuine connections that will grow your network and develop your artistry with people who care about your story.

    March 2022
  • Nan Schmid

    I cannot say enough about the Athena Labs! I was honored with being a finalist in the screenwriting competition. I only wish I could have met the other finalists. The staff is amazing and the films I saw by fellow female filmmakers were incredibly inspiring and uplifting. It just shows us that together woman can rule the world!

    March 2022